The Social Media Advantage

In today’s residential construction market, the routine of buying land, breaking ground, building new homes and expecting people will come to you is timeworn and passé. Just waiting for customers to visit guarantees failure. You need to be proactive and engage with potential buyers, and that means you must establish and maintain strong relationships where customers are performing a majority of their leisure activities. That area now is social media.

With YouTube, Facebook and Twitter among the top 10 most visited websites in the United States – and newcomer Pinterest coming up strong at No. 16, according to rankings by Alexa – social media is where the major conversations are occurring, particularly among younger Americans. By including this arena as part of your marketing plan, you can easily reach the latter market, which is ready to purchase new homes and settle down, but prefers to make its initial choices online instead of visiting in person.

Your social media outreach must be focused to succeed. There are different advantages each leading social media network offers. You need to tailor your efforts to determine which strategies offer your company maximum impact in communicating with your target audiences and develop long-lasting relationships that interest more people in your ongoing activities rather than a one-time involvement.

Using YouTube

A great way to provide dynamic visuals, YouTube can be employed several ways. Tour the interior and exterior of a home you want to highlight, taking time to display as well as explain its special features. Create a montage of shots from the groundbreaking to the ribbon-cutting of a new neighborhood. Profile the unique attractions your community offers, such as a distinctive pool, clubhouse or playground, and have people showing and talking about what they like about it.

YouTube allows you to establish your own channel to collect your videos and include keywords to allow for search results connecting to what you are offering. These are big advantages, particularly if you want to emphasize certain amenities in your homes and communities. But keep in mind that many people can tell the difference between videos shot and edited by amateurs versus professionals, so if it is quality you seek to impart, make sure you have someone able to handle the task for you.

Facebook and Twitter

With Facebook and Twitter, a residential builder can develop into becoming a recognized voice of authority. These social media channels let you participate in a conversation to encourage the interest of those looking for new homes and maintain connections with former buyers who may want to purchase their next residence from you. Facebook and Twitter are wonderful platforms for you to dispel myths and rumors about your business quickly and comment on current trends and other industry news, all without having to be filtered through a reporter or some other third party.

You can use your tweets and status updates to link back to your website for more information on what you are discussing as well. Suppose you have a detailed chart on your website showing the true savings of buying a new home versus a resale, such as the extra energy costs needed to warm inefficient older properties and so on. With a simple sentence announcing “Learn how we can save you money with a new home” and a link to that page, you can generate many hits and follow-ups from interested visitors.

Facebook and Twitter promote conversations between you and your clients that save you time in the long run. Telling everyone along with the original person who submitted a question how to customize their new residences or find more details about the home buying process, among other inquiries, will develop goodwill toward your company and indicate that you care personally about them. That reputation can provide your company with a crucial edge in a competitive market.

Pin it Up

A relative newcomer to social media, Pinterest has generated a huge number of visitors recently after being in operation for two years. The site allows users to create individual pin boards to share images of events, activities and other items of interest in their lives, and to share those images so that others can access them.

This can benefit residential builders who take shots of their kitchens, garages and other parts of their new homes on display, download them onto their websites and add them on Pinterest for others to view. If a Pinterest member likes the image, they can click on its tab and go to the original source (the website), like or comment on them, and even “re-pin” the image on their page, promoting even more exposure of the item. They also can link to it via Facebook or Twitter, proving again the strong and pervasive power of social media.

A Home on the Web

You can incorporate social media features onto your website as well if you prefer promoting customer engagement. For example, my company’s website has introduced an online chat forum allowing our potential, current and previous clients to talk live with a company employee and ask questions or make comments for instant information and feedback about all projects and business-related activities. This one-on-one assistance provides visitors on the website immediate responses regarding any questions they have regarding our business, communities, homes and other services. It is a popular addition that people appreciate because it addresses their desire to communicate with us and receive a response as soon as possible.

If you are uneasy about how to incorporate social media properly for your company, seek the assistance of a social media professional. You should be comfortable with updating your social media channels and responding to requests, and you should set reasonable goals on how to improve your effectiveness on them. Most of all, remember that the biggest conversations on new residential construction are happening online right now. To succeed, make sure you are part of them and are being heard.

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